“Now and then we would see her in one of the downstairs windows—she had evidently shut up the top floor of the house—like the carven torso of an idol in a niche, looking or not looking at us, we could never tell which. Thus she passed from generation to generation—dear, inescapable, impervious, tranquil, and perverse.” (128)
Because “A Rose for Emily” is narrated in retrospect, this description of Miss Emily’s relationship with the town possesses a kind of foreshadowing not always present in stories narrated as the action unfolds. Each word takes on added meaning given that the narrator already know about Homer Barron and the room upstairs.
Thinking back, the narrator recalls, “Now and then we would see her in one of the downstairs windows.” Likely, it only occurred to the narrator after learning about Homer Barron that Miss Emily was always in a downstairs window. In fact, earlier in the story, the narrator only says that “a window that had been dark was lighted and Miss Emily sat in it” when the men of the won sprinkled lime around her house to kill the offensive smell that emanated from it. He does not specify where in her house the window was. Moreover, he declares that Miss Emily “had evidently shut up the top floor.” Obviously, it was only “evident” that Miss Emily had closed off the upstairs of her home after her death when the townspeople forced their way into the house, up the stairs, and into the tomb-like room where the body of Homer Barron lay.
This passage also plays with the notion of seeing and being seen, the ambiguity of watching and being watched. The narrator states, “Now and then we would see her.” He goes on to explain that whether Miss Emily was “look...
... middle of paper ...
...tate when she buys the arsenic to poison Homer Barron, nor is it her state when she refuses to let her father’s dead body be removed from the house.
Finally, “perverse” confuses the reader until she reaches the end of the story. At the point where this passage occurs, Miss Emily seems a bit odd and, perhaps, insane, but there is nothing to indicate that she is “perverse.” The narrator already knows of Miss Emily’s “perverse” actions; thus, this serves as further foreshadowing of the townspeople’s discovering Homer’s body and apparent evidence of Miss Emily sleeping with it until her death.
While a short passage, this one illustrates the nature of the story itself. The narrator tells the tale in retrospect, thus possessing knowledge that the reader does not. It is for this reason that the narrator reveals aspects of the story that foreshadow the grand finale.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “She would not listen to them (795),” but they listened to her. They listened and watched throughout all of Miss Emily’s life – scowling, sympathizing, and, sometimes, they even smiled for her. These ever-watchful beings, the curious citizens of Jefferson, share and provide a backbone to this twisted tale in William Faulkner’s gothic short story, A Rose For Emily; though the views cast about Miss Emily differ significantly by generation and gender, their opinion conveyed as a whole expresses that they view Miss Emily as a shocking, unacceptable and “fallen (792)” being.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
927 words (2.6 pages)
- "A Rose for Emily" is a wonderful short story written by William Faulkner. It begins with at the end of Miss Emily’s life and told from an unknown person who most probably would be the voice of the town. Emily Grierson is a protagonist in this story and the life of her used as an allegory about the changes of a South town in Jefferson after the civil war, early 1900's. Beginning from the title, William Faulkner uses symbolism such as house, Miss Emily as a “monument “, her hair, Homer Barron, and even Emily’s “rose” to expresses the passing of time and the changes.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1032 words (2.9 pages)
- William Faulkner begins his short story, “A Rose for Emily” with the funeral of the main character, Emily Grierson (30). Emily is a quiet woman. It is said that nobody has been in her house for ten years, excluding her servant (30). Supposedly, her house used to be the best one around. The town also has a different connection with Miss Grierson. She is the only person in the town who is not forced to pay taxes. For years the town neither makes her pay, nor harasses her with tax notification letters to pay her taxes, until now.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1351 words (3.9 pages)
- A Rose for Emily—Essay The short story A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner first comes off as a disturbing story. When you realize that Miss Emily Grierson, who is the main character in this story, kills the man she’s though to be in love with, all you can really think is that she’s crazy. I think the conflict in the story is Miss Emily not being able to find love. With her father not giving her a chance to date, thinking that there was no one good enough for her. Then, the only man she has been able to love dies, which is her father.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
523 words (1.5 pages)
- A Rose for Emily tells the tale of a lonely woman named Emily Grierson and the events that occur since her father died up and up until her death. The unique thing about this story is that it isn’t told in chronological order. Faulkner transitions from the past to the present all throughout the story. The events being out of order make the story more interesting and it also creates suspense. The audience might be confused at times but at the end of the story everything adds up and makes sense. I think that if Faulkner had told it in chronological order it would have been boring and predictable.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
885 words (2.5 pages)
- Desperation for love arising from detachment can lead to extreme measures and destructive actions as exhibited by the tumultuous relationships of Miss Emily in William Faulkner's “A Rose for Emily” (rpt. in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 9th ed. [Boston: Wadsworth, 2006] 556). Miss Emily is confined from society for the majority of her life by her father, so after he has died, she longs for relations that ironically her longing destroys. The despondency and obsession exuded throughout the story portray the predicament at hand.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1042 words (3 pages)
- Back in the day when I was very little, I remember that my dad used to take care of me. He would never let me run around the house when glass could off break and hurt me. As I kept growing up my father started to give more freedom but also gave me more responsibilities; like he wanted me to do the chores of the house, not all of them but some. I knew they were not mine to do but I still help. When I went off to college and I had to do all by myself, I realize that my father did good on making me do my laundry, chores and etc., when I was young.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1454 words (4.2 pages)
- Throughout the Eighteen Years of my life I read many interesting short stories. Some stories where more eye catching than others. Furthermore “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner and “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka were not on the top of my list. In my opinion, the stories were eye catching because of how the author made its characters react and respond toward the suspense and eeriness in certain parts of the climax of the stories. For example, in “A Rose For Emily” the ladies of the community said “We did not say she was crazy then.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1625 words (4.6 pages)
- Plot summary "A Rose for Emily" is a short story divided into five sections: Section one opens with a description of the Grierson home and its setting in Jefferson. The narrator mentions that over the past 25 years Miss Emily’s home has fallen into despair and become "an eyesore among eyesores." The first sentence of the story sets the tone of how the citizens of Jefferson felt about Emily: "When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to the funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant–a combined gardener and cook–had seen in at least ten years.” The... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1024 words (2.9 pages)
- William Faulker’s "A Rose for Emily", is a story told from the viewpoint of a resident of the town which Emily was, born, raised, and eventually died in. There is a very dark and ominous feel to this story, which mainly revolves around death. The story takes place in the south, where at the time, slaves were newly emancipated and things are taking to quite a change. Even though the Gierson family was very powerful and well known, nothing could have been done to save Ms. Emily. As generations passed you could clearly see that the town was undergoing a great change, in which Emily was not ready for.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1740 words (5 pages)
- Comparing the Forgotten God of Love in Robert Bridges’ Poem EPÙÓ and Anne Stevenson’s Poem Eros
- Arvay’s Epiphany in Hurston’s Seraph on the Suwanee
- Individual Liberty Versus Majoritarian Democracy in Edward Larson’s Summer For the Gods
- Violence in Hurston’s Seraph on the Suwanee and Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Regal Imagery in Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge
- An Analysis of the First Paragraph of O’Connor’s The Artificial Nigger